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The Pisces by Melissa Broder

#bookreview | #bookblogger |


Image Source: The Sydney Morning Herald


The Pisces Plot


Lucy is doing a thesis on Sappho for University. When she realises she doesn't love her geologist boyfriend, Jamie, he moves on with Megan. Broken hearted, Lucy goes to stay at her sister's in L.A at an amazing beach house whilst they're away and looks after their dog. She joins a support group and continues to date, realising it's not what she's after. When meeting Theo, she learns there's more to life than his looks.


This book speaks in so many volumes! It explores sexuality, spiritualism, types of love (unrequited or unconditional), suicide, drugs, slight erotica, animal cruelty and searches for inner happiness. I was struggling to conclude if this book was realistic to its symbolism or completely out of this world. Well, of course it is both. Lucy’s emotions are so deep that it is literately like a black hole swallowing them to the point where she feels her life is in complete darkness. I guess this is the whole agenda when you’re battling addiction in whatever form.


Partially Booked's Review


Lucy is character that you learn to love when she knows what is right but you constantly follow her in the story on edge. Whilst she is trying to fill the void, following the break up of her laid back boyfriend called Jamie, you could tell she wanted a path to guide her back to a sort of happiness. It’s heartbreaking, we’ve all been there. I don’t touch certain foods I liked as a teenager because it reminds me of those horrible times I find disgustingly cringy. I had to laugh when Lucy punched Jamie in the face but considered it a huge warning sign. Broder had mentioned in Forever 35 podcast that she was fully into crystals, meditation or spirituality so as Lucy headed to L.A to visit her sister there was some faith she would count this as a new beginning. I love crystals because they’re pretty and calming. Broder wrote in lines anyone would think when first buying them leading Lucy to later realise they weren’t as fulfilling as she thought they would be. I felt like Lucy was trying to fill in those shoes of her sister who is a successful healer or wellness guru. As a reader, you could only feel a connection with Lucy at this point because she was using the void as an excuse to purchasing clothes or self-help items that you consider a cure to break ups and it’s what anyone would naturally do in the process of one.


So next, Lucy explores Love. She goes on a date with a hot guy and they agree to meet up again in a hotel where she has prepared herself with the most raunchiest underwear. I laughed when Claire said, “none of this Victoria Angel’s stuff” and went to the raunchiest shop they could find. She rushed home to shave her legs and get ready for the date knowing all of us ladies have a similar routine. It’s like seeing an addiction to self-happiness as well as appearance as Influences for instance .. looking back over time .. change their speech, appearance and attitudes for the audience they are trying to attract or they are searching for the attention that is being asked of them. What was she searching for out of this date? This date wanted to have sex with her in a hotel bathroom which she was unaware off the logistics of the performance thinking there would be a room for the night. Setting back Lucy by a mile because she has been used. She drugged her sister’s dog to be with this man. It depreciates your confidence. It comes to mind when people say “don’t change for a man” but it proves that it is easier said than done when you want the attention of that person, especially if you are not feeling yourself. This chapter of the book was so erotic. I cringed. I laughed. I was shocked at some of the details – I felt like I was learning a few things. Symbolism of filling a hole with a romantic obsession and the foundations of loving someone shines massively here.


Broder romantically likes Apollo (man of the sun). She read a book called The Professor and the Siren. She stated thinking about the relationship paradoxes among physical relationships. It blossomed from this idea which switched to a woman and a merman. When we come across Theo, we realise there is more than meets the eye because he acts so shady but friendly. I kept thinking why isn’t he going to get out the water – is he just really addicted to swimming or what? He eventually tells Lucy that he is a merman with a penis but fins from the leg down. I did not read the plot before reading this. I only read the blurb so when I got to this part I was completely shocked at the random twist not learning the reasons of Theo until after I had read it.


Lucy & Theo form a toxic relationship from this point circling around the theme of Limerence. Limerence is the beginning of dating where you get the butterflies and lust towards them or what we call the “honeymoon phase”. Broder feels reality and fantasy merges together in the same form of Limerence which Lucy is ultimately living. There was a line in the book which concluded the meaning of lust: “Maybe this is what past men knew, that everything temporary was between us”. Lucy knew at some point before her sister came home that she would have to break up with the merman. It was like a scenario of unrequited love. When you fall in love, you’re thinking about the adventure not the ending and the merman was so valuable to Lucy because it made her happy which drew in an addiction to needing him. Broder described this best in Skylight Books Podcast. Dominic the dog was a real love because it is a responsibility but it is hard to truly get high on the love when you’re feeding them and nurturing them especially at times when you don’t feel like looking after them. This was a sad consequence but the journey she took was an eye opener to obsession, addiction and true romance.


Further Reading


Penguin Random House | Melissa Broder Interview

Forever 35 Podcast | Sober Living with Melissa Broder




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